International tennis tournament heading back to Ilkley

Liam Broady

Published at 6:05pm 21st January 2016. (Updated at 6:12pm 21st January 2016)

The Aegon Ilkley Trophy will return to Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club this summer.

Last year's inaugural event proved very successful, with nearly 200 professional players competing in front of sell-out crowds.

It offers world-class and up-and-coming British and international players an extra grass court tournament on the ITF Pro Circuit and ATP Challenger Tour.

Another 400 seats will be available for those keen to watch this year's action, with a probable wild card entry to Wimbledon an extra incentive for those vying to be the 2016 Ilkley champions.

Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club was chosen to host the newest date in the ATP Challenger Tour because of its high-quality grass courts and impressive site facilities, which now include a new gym and enhanced clubhouse amenities.

Chairman Stephen Hepplewhite said: "We are looking forward very much to welcoming the tennis world back to Ilkley this summer, when we will be able to show them our site improvements and continued commitment to this most exciting event.

"I hope that those in and around the region will join me at what we believe to be a wonderful experience for those both on and off the courts."

Recent heavy rain has caused a headache for bosses, with the courts being flooded on two separate occasions.

The on-site team and 30 volunteers have worked around the clock to drain the site and ensure that no lasting damage has been done.

In the coming weeks, more than 150 volunteers will be recruited for the Aegon Ilkley Trophy.

The all-important Ball Crew will once again be made up of nearly 100 pupils from Ilkley Grammar School.

People interested in being involved are invited to attend an information session between 12 and 2pm on Sunday 20 March or contact Carol Cherry on for further details.

Tickets for the tournament will be available from March.